Renata Scotto

Alice Lechner


by Alice Lechner
January 15, 2021
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Internationally acclaimed for her sense of style and musicality, but also for remarkable acting skills, Renata Scotto is considered by the public and the critics one of the most preeminent singers of her generation. Born in Savona, Italy on February 24th, 1934, Renata Scotto made her operatic debut at the age of 18, in her hometown, on Christmas Eve. In front of a sold-out house, Scotto performed for the first time the role of Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata, followed immediately the next day by her second performance and her house debut at Teatro Nuovo in Milano. In 1953, Scotto auditioned at Teatro alla Scala, for a production of La Wally, with Tebaldi and del Monaco, where she was supposed to sing the role of Walter. This performance opened the 1953 season of La Scala and Scotto was called for not less than fifteen curtain calls, while her stage partners each receive seven.

Scotto’s major breakthrough came in 1957, at the Edinburg Festival, when La Scala performed their production of Bellini’s La Sonnambula with Maria Callas as Amina. Being under contract for only four performances, Callas rejected the offer of the company for a fifth one, motivating that she had already appeared on stage against her doctor’s advice. The success of the performance brought the 23-year-old Scotto international fame.

During the ‘60s, Scotto became one of the leading singers in the Belcanto revival initiated by Callas ten years earlier, adding to her repertoire titles as Bellini’s Zaira and La straniera, plus Giulietta in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan, Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable (in Italian). This is also the moment when her American debut took place, at Lyric Opera of Chicago as Mimì .

Renata Scotto performed around 45 roles, written by 18 composers, being best known for her magnificent Violetta, Gilda (Rigoletto), Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly), Lucia di Lammermoor, Mimì, but also Musetta (La Bohème), Adina (L’Elisir d’amore), Liù (Turandot), Nedda (I Pagliacci), the three heroines of Puccini’s Il Trittico, Adriana Lecouvreur and the title role of Francesca da Rimini. Around the ‘70s , moving to the heavier Verdi repertoire, Scotto also performed the roles of Elisabetta (Don Carlo), Luisa Miller, Lady Macbeth, Leonora (Il trovatore) and the Requiem, all under the baton of the Met’s music director, M° James Levine, while, in the late part of her career, Scotto took on the roles of Fedora (Barcelona, 1988), Charlotte (Werther), the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier (Spoleto Festival, 1995 and Catania), Kundry (Parsifal – Schwerin, 1995), Elle in La voix humaine (Florence, 1993; Amsterdam and Barcelona, 1996; Torino, 1999), Madame Flora in The Medium (Torino, 1999) and Klytemnestra in Elektra (Baltimore, 2000 and Sevilla, 2002). For more than 40 years, Scotto performed regularly at the San Francisco Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Dallas Opera, Royal Opera, London, Gran Teatre del Liceo, Barcelona, La Fenice, Venice, and Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires. In addition she appeared in Madrid, Genoa, Florence, Bologna, Trieste, Palermo, Roma, Berlin, Paris, Miami, Tokyo, Pittsburgh and Osaka among others, ending her fulminant singing career in 2002.

Since then, has focused her attention successfully to stage direction as well as to teacher both in Italy, at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), and abroad, especially in the United State, at Juilliard School (New York). Scotto’s director credits include Madama Butterfly (Metropolitan Opera, Arena di Verona, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera), Bellini’s Il pirata (Festival Belliniano, Catania, 1993) and La sonnambula (Catania, 1994), Buț also an Emmy Award-winning telecast of La Traviata (New York City Opera, 1995), Norma (Finnish National Opera), Adriana Lecouvreur (Santiago, 2002), Lucia di Lammermoor (Music Hall of Thessaloniki, 2004), La Wally (Dallas, Bern), La Bohème (Lyric Opera of Chicago, 2007 and Palm Beach, 2009), Turandot (Athens, 2009), La Sonnambula (Miami and Michigan Opera Theatre, 2008) and Un ballo in maschera (Lyric Opera of Chicago, 2010).


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Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner comes from a music-loving family. Her first encounter with the opera universe was at the tender age of six. The grandeur of the stage productions and costumes, the backstage chatter, and last, but definitely not least, the music left her in awe, beginning with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The overall feeling that opera awakens in anyone who gets a glimpse into this part of artistic eternity, that each and every day passes the test of time, was what drew her to stay and be a part of this world. The Opera House of Brașov became her second home, and the people who worked there were her second family.

Since then, Alice has devoted her spare time to maximising her musical knowledge through instrumental studies, studying both piano and violin for a short time. In the following years, her number one passion stepped out of the limelight and graciously gave way to Law Studies.
Since 2018 she has been studying Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Her passion for opera, even if it is no longer her top professional priority in terms of career, it has most definitely become her priority during her free time. Wanting to experience the best of both worlds and extend her musical horizons, she regularly attends opera performances throughout Romania and abroad.
With OPERA Charm Magazine, Alice aims to nurture her creative side to help it flourish and bloom and to discover, alongside the magazine’s readers, the fascinatingly complex world of opera.

Currently, she is an LL.M. in Business Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Oana Zamfir

Oana Zamfir is a second year MA student at the “George Enescu” National University of Arts, at the Department of Musicology.

She studied violin for 12 years at the “Stefan Luchian” High School of Art in Botosani, later focusing on the theoretical aspects of music. In 2019 she completed her bachelor studies in Musicology as a student of the National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca. Her research during 2018-2019 brought to the forefront elements of the archaic ritual within works of composers who activated during the communist period, giving her the opportunity to start a research internship at the “Carl von Ossietzky” University in Germany. In this context, she recorded conversations with members of the Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, and had access to documents directly from the Myriam Marbé archive.

Since 2019 she has been a teacher of Music Education and Theoretical Music Studies, making full use of interactive methods in the musical training of students and working, at the same time, with the children’s choir founded in the first year of her activity.

Her interests include pursuing a degree in interior design in 2020.

Alexandru Suciu

Alexandru Suciu inherited his passion for art growing up in a family of several generations of musicians. He began his musical studies at the “Augustin Bena” School of Music in Cluj, where he studied piano and guitar. Even though his main study direction was philological, his passion for music prevailed. He began his academical journey at the Faculty of Letters of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University, studying Comparative literature and English. He continued by studying Opera Singing at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy. He also graduated the Musical Education section, followed by Artistic Directing at the Musical Performing Arts department.

His multidisciplinary education opened the doors towards research, which is seen both through his participation in national and international conferences and symposia, such as the Salzburg Easter School PhD-forum, organized by the Salzburg Universität or the Silesian Meeting of Young Scholars, organized by the Institute of English at the University of Silesia, as well as the collaboration with Opera Charm Magazine.

During his student years, he won several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the “Paul Constantinescu” National Musical Interpretation Competition, the Romanian Composers and Musicologists’ Union Prize at the same competition, the First Prize and the Schubert Prize at the “Ada Ulubeanu” Competition.

He further developed his artistic skills by specializing in courses and masterclasses held by personalities such as Vittorio Terranova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Marian Pop, Ines Salazar, Riccardo Zanellato, Paolo Bosisio, Valentina Farcaș and Manuel Lange in contexts such as the Internationale Sommerakademie für Operngesang Deutschlandsberg, Corso Internazionale di Canto Lirico I.M.C. Licata or the Europäische Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Montepulciano. Besides his activity on-stage, he currently teaches Opera Singing Didactics, and Pedagogical Practice within the Department for Teacher Education and Training at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy.

Cristina Fieraru

Cristina is a 24 year-old Romanian soprano & a student at the National University of Music Bucharest, where she pursues the MA program in Vocal Performance.

She made her debut in Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at only 19 years old at the Bucharest National Opera House, as a member of the Ludovic Spiess Experimental Opera Studio. Over the years she made her debut in roles such as Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mimì & Musetta (La Bohème), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) in her university’s opera productions.
Her passion and experience extends in the field of choral music, too.

She has been part of our dream team since the fall of 2021. For a good period of time she took care of OPERA Charm’s social media and took you on the monthly journey through the history of opera through our Legends rubric – and a few times through the Theaters around the World rubric.

Her little soul rubric – from 2021 to present – is definitely the Conductors of the Future, where, every month, she gives you the chance to meet a young star of the world of conducting and, of course, to find out what’s the most charming feature of opera in these artists’ views.


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